Media, Community-CSOs Collaboration for Accountability and Demand for Quality Maternal Health Services
Development Communications Network (DevComs) introduces 'Bridging the Gap: Media, Community, and CSOs for Accountability and Demand for Quality Maternal Health Services in Nigeria', a project which is aimed at facilitating the partnership between media professionals and civil society groups to collectively demand accountability in maternal health delivery. The project which is supported by MacArthur Foundation started in November 2013 and will run through 2016 in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and Jigawa.
The specific objectives of the project include:
1. Increase quality and frequency of media coverage on maternal health in 3 states and Abuja
2. Improve communications and collaboration between media, community leaders, health workers and CSOs working on maternal health accountability to demand quality maternal health care
3. Increase policymakers and government officials' knowledge and action on maternal health situation of Nigeria
There is no gain saying that Nigerian women still die needless deaths in trying to give birth to lives, despite government promises to improving the state of Maternal Newborn and Child Health. Although several programs have been put in place to help reduce the burden, the progress made is not commensurate with the maternal mortality ratio of 545/100,000 births (NDHS 2008). This is worrisome and calls for government action to fulfill their promises. This is a critical period to the Millennium Development Goals 2015 and all hands must be on deck if Nigeria is to achieve set targets.
Against the above background, there is no better time for civil societies and media to work together than now as both have a role to play in demanding transparency and accountability.
We are currently conducting a study on CS/Media engagement and our preliminary report of a desk review of three national newspapers between October 2013 and December 2013 have suggested that maternal health issues have not received enough attention in the media
Subsequently, we will conduct sensitization for journalists, facilitate CS-Media forums and assess the level of facilities available at primary health cares for populations far from the cities, through field trips..
DevComs Network is also managing www.notagaincampaign.org and maternalnews.notagaincampaign.org portal in order to provide useful information to the media, track their reports and inform the general public.
If you are a journalists or a representative of a civil society group working on maternal health, you can request for our needs assessment/media-CSO engagement questionnaire by sending a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.